Posted by Patrick Hart, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Think tank will weigh up options for family court reform
A major new study will examine ways that the UK could improve its divorce process.
Resolution, the family law association, has welcomed the decision by an influential think tank to carry out a comprehensive review of how the current system operates.
At the centre of the debate will be whether or not the courts should consider moving away from a system which apportions blame.
Those who support reform believe that the time has come for legislators to do away with grounds for divorce such as adultery and unreasonable behaviour – which still account for well over half of petitions.
Resolution claims that the current system is out-of-date and only serves to inflame hostilities.
To assess the appetite for a new legal framework and better understand how the existing process works in practice, the Nuffield Trust will be examining several key areas.
The first part of their survey will consider public attitudes towards divorce, the second will investigate how courts weigh up petitions citing adultery or unreasonable behaviour and the final stage will assess how this process affects the parties involved.
Both family law solicitors and members of the public have been invited to take part in the research and the first set of data will be published next year.
The results are likely to feed into the long-running debate about whether the UK should move to a no-fault system.
The Law Commission had advocated this arrangement 25 years ago and several senior family Judges have recently spoken out in favour of the suggestion.
Family law solicitors who combine expertise with understanding